With fires in the Amazon Rainforest and pressures for a solution to climate change rising, society’s environmental outlook on the future for the next 12 years is rapidly deteriorating. In October of 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that if tangible and large-scale decisions are not made in an estimated 12 years, the effects of climate change will be irreversible.
Despite this alarming information, government officials are reluctant to make decisions reflecting this new information. Considering this added pressure to act, the rhetoric of world leaders and large corporations weigh now like they never have before.
The Amazon Rainforest is a global entity. With value extending beyond South America, it produces 20 percent of the world’s oxygen. Additionally, this area absorbs a significant amount of carbon dioxide, slowing the negative effects of climate change. With everything it does for the world, it is clear why this rainforest has gained the nickname “lungs of the planet,” as CBS reports.
For the past several years, Brazil was one of the frontrunners leading the world into a more sustainable future. Despite corrupt actions, prior presidents like, Dilma Rousseff and Luis Inacio Lula De Silva prioritized environmental actions.
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s current President, takes an unorthodox stance on climate policy. He stated in an interview with the BBC, “It’s enough to eat a little less. You talk about environmental pollution. It’s enough to poop every other day. That will be better for the whole world.”
As members of the G7 attempted to provide millions of dollars in assistance, Bolsanaro not only rejected their aid, but claimed that the French government “must apologize first” for “questioning Bolsanaro’s commitment to the environment,” before Brazil will accept their aid. Shortly after his comments towards the French government, Bolsonaro called out French president Emmanuel Macron’s wife multiple times with sexist remarks. According to MSN, the Brazilian populace responded apologetically. Some even went so far as to compare Bolsanaro to Spongebob, saying, “Sorry about our president, he’s an idiot. #DesculpaBrigitte.”
The rhetoric Bolsanaro posed toward Macron is only a portion of the statements he has made. In response to these notions, Bolsonaro’s approval rating dropped from 39 percent to 29.4 percent over the last several months.
Macron responded to a multitude of negative responses by stating, “What can I tell you? It’s sad, but it’s sad most of all for him and for the Brazilians,” as reported by French news site France 24.